Appeal Letter

Mechanics Hall needs you!

We have reached our Phase I goal, but need your help in order to complete the initial stage of our renovation work

We are writing to you with some exciting news about how you can help us bring back to life an undiscovered gem of a performance space in downtown Portland.

Last fall, the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association (MCMA), the non-profit organization that owns and operates historic Mechanics Hall, located at 519 Congress Street in Portland, and Acorn Productions, a local community-based arts group, collaborated to raise over $14,000 to meet our Phase I fundraising goal. These funds will enable us to perform needed life and safety upgrades in order to receive a public assembly license to bring the historic third-floor ballroom at Mechanics Hall back into use. This beautiful and elegant space was designed by John Calvin Stevens, and has been out of the public eye for over 50 years. We anticipate receive a temporary public assembly license within the next few weeks, meaning that events can take place in the space as early as the beginning of March.

While we are thrilled to have met our first fundraising goal, we still have more funds to raise in order to complete renovations and upgrades to the space.

The ballroom contains over 2,000 square feet of unimpeded floor space, with hardwood floors and high ceilings making it the ideal venue for a variety of uses by theater and dance companies, educational institutions, individual instructors, and other community groups. Our temporary license is valid for 6 months, and during that time we need to reach our Phase II goal for the campaign in order to load test the fire escape, acquire lighting equipment and chairs, upgrade the electrical services, and other repairs and purchases that will allow the space to function as a professional performance venue. Once renovations are complete, the ballroom will become a cultural, social, and educational center for its members and the community, and its location in the heart of the Arts District will make it a hub of activity for a variety of groups.

We are asking you to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Phase II of the campaign to help us meet our $35,000 goal.

The enclosed materials not only provide you with a sense of the potential of this space, but also the manner in which it has fired the imagination of Greater Portland’s arts community. We are already receiving booking inquiries for a number of exciting events, including First Friday performances by Acorn’s Naked Shakespeare Ensemble as well as other classes, lectures, and of course ballroom dances. With your help, we can make the Mechanics Hall ballroom a venue to last the ages.

We thank you in advance for your generous support.